Philip J. Deloria

American historian

Philip J. Deloria (born February 27, 1959) is a historian, author and member of the Dakota Nation who specializes in Native American, Western American, and environmental history. He is a member of the American Philosophical Society (2021).


  • My hands-down favorite writer is my friend Carlo Rotella, and that's in large part because much of what I've learned about writing over the last couple of decades has come in the form of gifts from him. Carlo is an apostle of craft, skill, mastery, and work. He writes great prose, to be sure, but he has also taught me about blocking, outlining, editing, structure—all those things I pretended to do, but never actually did. Talking to Carlo, I am always reminded that craft itself produces ideas and insights, unbidden thoughts that transcend the nuts and bolts work. That's why we tell our students that writing is thinking, and that thinking may well be incomplete without writing. [1]
  • Writing is a learned and practiced craft, not a work of magic or mystery. Indeed, the magic happens when you are practicing the craft. Literary talent may be distributed unevenly, but no one is “born” a writer. [2]
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